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Tampa FL Products Liability Law Blog

Millions of recalled cars pose threat of catastrophic injuries

The record number of auto recalls this year has led to millions of recalled vehicles remaining in use on the roads. While these vehicles pose threats of catastrophic injuries, Florida motorists may suffer from what has come to be known as recall fatigue. Some are of the opinion that recall notices fail to emphasize the severity of the potential dangers posed by the defects, leaving many consumers underestimating the threat. A recall consultant says that the 544 recalls so far this year equal almost two recalls per day.

Another concerning fact is that large numbers of recalled vehicles remain available through the used car market. Carfax reported that approximately 3.5 million listings in 2013 were recalled vehicles. It is vital for consumers to update their knowledge of recalls before they go shopping for a used car as unsuspecting buyers may find themselves the owners of vehicles that may cause catastrophic injuries or even death.

Recalled supplements posing personal injury threat still for sale

Florida consumers who use supplements as part of a healthy lifestyle may want to take note of the alarming results of a study that was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. From 2009 through 2012, 274 supplements were recalled because they contained ingredients that may cause severe personal injury. The researchers who initiated the study bought 27 of these products that were still available in online stores and on the websites of manufacturers.

While prescription drugs need the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, supplements are not subjected to FDA approval. However, the labels on supplements have to list all ingredients and may not be tainted or misrepresented. This apparently fails to deter some supplement manufacturers from adding unapproved drugs that are not specified on the label in order to escalate profit levels. The 27 supplements that the researchers purchased promised weight loss, improved sexual ability, big muscles and more.

Toys R Us -- personal injury threat posed by plastic toast slices

Most parents in Florida do whatever is necessary to protect their children from harm. However, it seems impossible to anticipate the personal injury threats posed by many toys and other children's products. Toys R Us recently announced the recall of a product in their "Just Like Home" range. What seems to be a toy that would provide a lot of fun for little kids playing house was determined to be a personal injury threat.

The recalled product consists of a toy toaster with an opening for inserting the imitation toast or bagel slices, with a handle to slide the toast down. The toaster is blue and the slider, along with and adjustment knob on the front, is orange. Included in the set are two toast and two bagel slices which were found to be dangerous, although no injuries have been reported yet.

Leaking intravenous solutions pose personal injury threat

Manufacturers of medicinal products have an enormous responsibility to maintain the safety standards prescribed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Hospira, the manufacturers of a range of LifeCare products, recently announced a recall of 11 lots of intravenous solutions after it was detected that one package was punctured, causing a leak of the contents. The recall, of which the FDA is aware, was reported to be voluntary. The range of products that may pose a personal injury threat was distributed in Florida and the rest of the United States.

The intravenous solutions were packed in flexible containers, protected by a plastic over wrap that could expose the products to being punctured by sharp objects. Upon investigation, it was found that the puncture occurred on a conveyor system, and action to eliminate the problem has been taken. Hospira explained that the sterility of the contents of a punctured, leaking container could be compromised by possible contamination. A further danger exists when the contents of a punctured container are administered to a patient as the dosing may be inconsistent, causing a delay in treatment.

Anchovies contaminated with Listeria pose personal injury threat

With the number of food products recalled due to Listeria contamination, Florida consumers are likely concerned about the health threats that may be contained in the products they buy. Manufacturers of food products have to follow strict health and safety regulations when producing food products. Consumers may want to take note of a recent recall of Listeria infected anchovies that pose a potential personal injury threat.

Listeria contamination can cause severe personal injury to elderly or frail people and young children, along with anybody whose immune system is weakened. Healthy individuals may experience symptoms ranging from fever and headache to diarrhea and nausea for a short time. However, the effect on the high-risk groups mentioned above may even cause fatalities and stillbirths or miscarriages in women who are pregnant.

Personal injury threat leads to recall of auto floor mats

Florida owners of General Motors SUVs and pickup trucks may want to take notice of a recent recall by the manufacturers of floor mats. The mats to fit these vehicles are manufactured for the aftermarket, and the company only changed their design at the beginning of this year. It was found that the older design posed a serious personal injury threat as the forward movement of the mats could trap the accelerator pedal.

Although no reports of automobile accidents or personal injury have been received, three complaints about the floor mats were lodged. The consumers who complained asserted that the floor mats tend to move forward, causing unintentional continued acceleration. The company is recalling 45,000 floor mats that were marketed under several brand names, including Tread Lightly, Cabela's Custom Fit, Rugged Ridge All-Terrain and Line-X Truck Gear. The bulk of the stock was supplied to O'Reilly Auto Parts stores.

Can medical combination products cause personal injury?

A medical combination product is a product comprised of different components such as a drug that is combined with a biological product and/or a medical device. The manufacturer who introduces the combination product to the market often makes use of several suppliers of elements of the product, and is also the party that may be held liable if a personal injury results from the use of the product. Florida consumers may be interested in knowing that the Food and Drug Administration has a dedicated division, called the Office of Combination Products (OCP), which regulates and monitors the safety of combination products.

The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) has the daunting task of sourcing reliable suppliers of the various components. Even more daunting is the continuous monitoring to ensure that none of the components are compromised or replaced without the OEM's knowledge. An example is a combination product that includes a rare plant with medicinal characteristics. Upon a surprise visit by the OEM, it was found that the plant never existed, and the supplied element was something different.

Reported medical device defects may lead to personal injury

At an ostentatious summit in 2013, an entrepreneur announced that he was committed to reducing medical error fatalities across the United States from many thousands per year to zero. Joe Kiani's company is the manufacturer of the small devices that are clipped onto a patient's finger or toe to monitor the level of oxygen in the blood, along with the pulse rate. Florida residents may be interested to learn that it has come to light that several alleged defective devices had been reported. However, the company failed to initiate proper investigations into the malfunctions, despite the threat of personal injury or even death.

While the devices have not been recalled, the Food and Drug Administration has served the company with a letter -- which constitutes a severe reprimand -- about its failure to properly follow up on malfunction and personal injury reports. According to the specifications of the device, an alarm would alert medical personnel of any sudden changes in the vital signs of the patient. In one case where a patient died, the question arose as to whether the device emitted the warning signal prior to his or her death. Another patient suffered burn injuries to his or her toe where the device was attached.

M&M recall due to personal injury threat of peanut allergy

Florida consumers who suffer from allergies have to be extremely careful when buying food and snacks. Studying the ingredient labels is usually part of the lives of such sufferers, but label errors could jeopardize their health and result in personal injury. Mars Chocolate recently issued the recall of its Milk Chocolate sold under the M&M'S brand.

A consumer advised the Food and Drug Administration that they purchased an M&M'S® Brand Milk Chocolate Theater Box that contained nut products but was not labeled as such. It was subsequently determined that the milk chocolate container was filled with the company's peanut butter M&M'S. This labeling error could cause an allergic reaction if consumed by a person who is allergic to nut products. The voluntary recall includes the company's 3.40-ounce theater boxes labeled as M&M'S® Brand Milk Chocolate.

Recalled fuel filters may cause accidents and personal injury

Motorists in Florida may want to take note of a recall that was recently announced by a manufacturer of fuel filters. Defects in automotive parts could potentially cause vehicle accidents that may result in severe personal injury or even death. It is certainly a concern to realize that something as insignificant as an ineffective bonding agent in a car part may have such devastating consequences.

Cummins Filtration recently recalled in excess of 63,000 fuel filters. Approximately 21,600 Cummins engines that were built during the period from April 28 to July 8 were said to have been fitted with the fuel filters that may be defective. In addition, about 42,000 filters were shipped to retailers as replacement parts for the aftermarket. The company undertook the task of advising all recipients of its Fleetguard fuel filters -- with FF63009 as part number -- of the recall, who will in turn identify clients who may be affected by the defect.

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